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20th February 2020

Science Rare sighting of swordfish in Scottish waters off Inverbervie

Science Rare sighting of swordfish in Scottish waters off Inverbervie

Science

science SwordfishImage copyright
HiDef Aerial Surveying

Image caption

The swordfish was spotted in aerial footage

A rare sighting of a swordfish has been made in Scottish waters.

The distinctive member of the billfish family was spotted when analysts were examining aerial footage shot during survey work about 27km (17 miles) off Inverbervie, Aberdeenshire.

Swordfish are normally found in the warmer waters of the Caribbean or Mediterranean.

It is claimed to be only the second time the species has been seen in Scottish waters.

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Jeff Rotman / Blue Planet

Image caption

Swordfish are normally found in warmer waters

It was identified swimming through SSE Renewables’ Seagreen offshore wind farm site by HiDef Aerial Surveying, which had been commissioned to undertake aerial wildlife surveys of the site.

The fish was estimated to be 197cm (6.4ft).

The shots were taken in August last year.

Walter Golet, from the University of Maine School of Marine Science, said: “Swordfish have a huge latitudinal range, by the picture it appears to have a flat bill, and marlins (the only other confusion species) are all round.”

Lis Royle, Seagreen’s consent manager, said: “We’re pleased we’ve been able to help record the second ever spotting of a swordfish in Scottish waters.

“Whilst we don’t expect the Seagreen swordfish to make an appearance again it was great to be able to capture this incredibly rare sighting during our survey work.”

In 2009, a swordfish was landed by a surprised fisherman in the River Forth.

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